The medicinal chemistry option

As well as the molecular biology masters at Queen’s, there’s also the medicinal chemistry masters at the Open University to think about.

I’ve been toying with that off and on for the past couple of years as a possible next step. In practical terms, it’s just over the fence from molecular biology, looking at similar topics but from the chemistry angle.

As always, there’s a research skills module Developing research skills in science (S825) which is used by many of the OU science masters qualifications ie isn’t really directly related to medicinal chemistry.

Molecules in medicine (S807) is the main taught module and covers infectious diseases (bacterial and viral), cancer, heart disease, inflammation and neuropharmacology which reads like a biology module but presumably looks at things from the chemistry angle.

Concept to clinic (S827) is a smaller module which looks at the drug discovery and development process from a modern and historical perspective and introduces you to a range of issues in drug discovery. So it’s got some similarities to my current Drug Design (S346) module but with more of an emphasis on the design rather than synthesis.

Finally, there’s the MSc project module for MSc in Medicinal Chemistry (SXM810) which is based in the areas of the Molecules in Medicine and/or Concept to Clinic modules.

Plus points of the medicinal chemistry masters are that it’s going to be easy to fit around real life and it seems a lot simpler to get into (no need to gather together references etc.). On the downside, it doesn’t seem to offer quite such an easy route into the doctorate and has none of the lab work either.

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